Latest release of BabyWorks sees Intelligent Ultrasound’s Infant Manikin Growing at Pace

Latest release of BabyWorks sees Intelligent Ultrasound’s Infant Manikin Growing at Pace

There is an increasing acceptance of the value that bedside ultrasound can bring to high-risk babies in the neonatal and pediatric setting. Delivering training and developing skills in this busy and high-pressured environment, where rapid diagnosis is key in ensuring positive patient outcomes, can however be challenging

In 2021 BabyWorks, affectionately known at Intelligent Ultrasound (IU) as Sam, was born to address this need. Sam, an ultra-realistic baby manikin, provides an alternate training method to learning directly on an infant, enabling trainees and the less experienced to develop confidence and competence in a safe environment.

Since the simulator’s launch, institutions across the world, including the Universities of California Davis and Nebraska Medical Center, Policlinico San Donato, Southmead Hospital and Mohawk College have invested in Sam to increase learning opportunities for its students. While Sam will forever remain in infant form – the technology behind BabyWorks is growing at a pace.

In the latest release of BabyWorks, IU has added another six cardiac pathologies to the simulator and, through collaboration with specialists, further improved the lungs.

Functional echocardiography has become an invaluable tool in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit. ‘Point-of-care’, ‘target’ or ‘focus’ echocardiography allows bedside cardiac ultrasound evaluation of the hemodynamic status of the patient, helping in directing treatment, thus improving patient care.

Senior Product Manager at IU, Talia Stokes commented “This non-invasive bedside test can be used to evaluate cardiac anatomy, estimate intracardiac pressures and pressure gradients across valves and vessels, to determine the direction of blood flow, pressure gradient across a defect, and to estimate filling pressure and fluid responsiveness. The barrier to its adoption is the lack of available training”.

BabyWorks now includes Hypovolemia, Tamponade, Sinus Venosus Atrial Septal Defect with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (SVASD with PAPVD), Coarctation of the Aorta, Global LV Dysfunction and Perimembranous VSD cardiac pathologies for ease of recognition and learning in a simulated environment.

Working with neonatal and pediatric specialists, IU has also improved the appearance of Sam’s lungs. Students learning on the latest version of BabyWorks will now benefit from the improved appearance of A lines, M mode and pneumothorax as well as a shortened linear probe footprint, giving a more realistic scanning experience.

Dr Dusan Raffaj, Consultant Pediatric Intensivist at Nottingham University Hospital, has been using BabyWorks to support a series of Children’s ACuTe Ultrasound (CACTUS) courses across the UK. Dusan, who worked with IU to further develop Sam’s lungs and test the updates, commented “We have been using BabyWorks as part of our courses with great success. Sam supports us in teaching process pathologies, which we show via slides, with a feel and proportions similar to a real-life baby’s appearance. The improvements to the lungs will help facilitate an even more realistic learning experience for candidates – I was pleased to provide feedback and be involved in this update”.

The latest version of BabyWorks is available worldwide from April 2024. Existing users will be provided with the new cardiac pathologies and lung improvements free of charge, while future users will benefit from the updates as part of the BabyWorks PoCUS package.

BabyWorks is a realistic baby manikin for Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS), Transthoracic and Transesophageal Echocardiography (TTE & TEE) training in pediatric and neonatal care.